Key Points for a Successful Substance Abuse Program

Key Points for a Successful Substance Abuse Program


The best substance abuse program will tend to inspire the addict or alcoholic to take a truly ridiculous amount of action in order to recover.  Modest efforts in recovery only get miserable results, because the default behavior for the addict is to use drugs.  One tiny slip results in complete disaster.  It is an all or nothing program to stay clean in recovery.  Screw it up just a little and you fail the whole thing.  The only path to success is complete and total abstinence.

Most substance abuse programs find it very difficult to inspire massive action like this.  What is the key to doing so?  No one knows for sure, but starting people out with real world recovery actions is a good start.  For example, a rehab center that actually takes their clients out into real world 12 step meetings is headed in the right direction.

Why is massive action necessary?   Why can’t addicts and alcoholics only take a modest approach to recovery and expect to be successful?  Why must they take an extreme approach in order to have a chance at recovery?

Alcoholic at Christmas
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dottie Mae

The reason is because the odds are stacked against them.  Look at the success rates in recovery and you will see the answer right there in front of you.  The vast majority do not stay clean and sober.

- Approved Treatment Center -


Take all of the addicts and alcoholics who attempt to get clean and sober and tally up all the data.  Something like 90 percent of them will relapse within the first year.  Only 10 percent will stay clean and sober.

Now think about this: what is the average amount of effort that these people put forth?  You have to look at all of the recovery potentials in order to get a complete picture.  So you have a few people who don’t really try at all.  Then you might have another group that tries a little bit, but they don’t give much of an effort.  Then you might have a large group who make a modest effort to recover.  Then you may have a small group that go a bit above average and try even harder.  And finally you will have a select few who try even harder than that, and put their whole heart and soul into it.

Guess who stays clean and sober in the long run?  Only the top 10 percent, if that.  So you can take 90 percent of those people and just send them back to detox.  They are not going to make it because they generally:

* Do not complete treatment, or they do not complete all of the aftercare recommendations that are suggested to them upon leaving rehab.

* Do not fully immerse themselves in a recovery program, nor are they focused on taking positive action every day.  They start to “coast” in their recovery.

* Do not push themselves towards holistic health and personal growth efforts.  They do not embrace exercise, nutrition, emotional balance, spirituality, and so on.

You want good results in recovery, you have to put forth a massive effort.


- Approved Treatment Center -call-to-learn-about